The Guardians of Rhea

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Chapter Twenty

CHAPTER TWENTY

“So, that’s what happened to this place?” Sara asked, helping Caycee to her feet.

“Yeah,” Caycee said, rubbing her forehead, “I don’t know what it was, but I saw it.”

“Did you see what made that black sphere?” Arloff asked, “It sounds like the same thing they’re trying to use in the Netherworld.”

Caycee shook her head, “It was horrible. Those poor people never had a chance.”

“How can we ever hope to stop something like that?” Janah asked, “It’s the perfect weapon. A single touch and you become one of them.”

“I find it interesting,” Nedim said.

Sara almost couldn’t believe what she heard, “I’d love to hear about it.”

“Our records show that when the Pelasgians invaded Rhea, the Corinthians were there.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning what Caycee saw must have happened before,” Nedim said, “If the Pelasgians already had such a weapon then why didn’t they use it? It may be a good sign, especially if it does not work in the Netherworld.”

Okay,” Janah said, “I’m feeling a little better.”

“Don’t get your hopes up yet,” Sara said, “They can still invade us. I’ve heard you all talk about how many of them there are, and to be honest, I never thought much of it. But if what Caycee said is true then we could be looking at worlds of these guys. I don’t know about you, Janah, but I’m feeling a little worse.”

The Fenrir were transfixed on the moon, “Hey.” Leon said, grabbing their attention, and placing his pointer finger across his lips.

Gillan looked toward the sea, confused. He then held his hand out as if to cause something to happen, “Uh-oh.”

Leon then noticed Kamala’s similar concern over a rock, “What is it?” he asked.

“Our abilities don’t work here,” Kamala said.

“I can sense the water,” Gillan said, “But nothing happens.”

Nedim held his fist up close to his face. A faint yellow glow briefly emanated from his hand, “It seems the Khothu’s powers are somehow suppressed in this realm.”

Frustrated, Kamala and Gillan equipped their weapons.

“Stay focused,” Leon said. Peering off into the valley, he spotted Eris flying into a small town, “This way.”

Everyone moved in line as fast as they could.

“So, let me guess,” Sara said, “These Myrmidons are pretty special.”

“As far as we know, yes,” Leon replied doing his best to keep an eye on the town, “They’re unique. If that thing is a Myrmidon, it should be the only one that can open those portals.”

Gillan and Janah held hands going down an incline.

“Looks like I might actually get my wish to kill a Pelasgian after all,” Janah said.

“Okay, seriously!” Gillan said, “Who looks forward to that?”

Sara saw that there was no place to take cover as they approached the town, “Uh, Leon,” she said, disconcerted.

Just short of exposing the group to the open, Leon stopped behind a large geode jutting out from the ground.

“I don’t see a way in,” Sara said, looking around, “At least, not without taking a stroll through no man’s land.”

The town had a wall much like New Haven, though there were no buildings any taller than two stories. It was a little too quiet for comfort. Even from their ideal vantage point, they could see no one inside.

“Caycee,” Leon called, “Get up here.”

“If this isn’t an ambush,” Kamala said, “I don’t know what is.”

Caycee huddled next to Leon, “It always feels good when you want my opinion.”

“Just tell me what you feel,” said Leon.

“I’ve had a bad feeling ever since we left Vesuvia.” Caycee chuckled, “If I had to lean one way or the other, I’d say we better be ready for anything. Something’s down there, but I don’t think it’s waiting for us.”

“Good,” Leon said, then looking back to the group, “Everyone, get your war face on.”

The Fenrir morphed back into their wolf form.

“Wait here,” Leon said, before running off so fast no one could see him until he reached the gate to the city and jumped over it.

“Is he out of his bloody mind?” Darek asked.

Within moments, Leon was pulling the gate open and waved for the rest to join him.

Inside, the town appeared deserted.

“You sure that thing is still here?” Nedim asked.

“I’ve had my eyes on this place almost the whole time,” Leon answered, “She has to be here.”

“Maybe we should split up,” Doradus suggested.

“I don’t know about that,” Kamala said, “We’re much stronger as a group.”

“I agree with both of you,” Sara said, “It looks like we’re on the main street. We can split up into two staggered groups, one on each side. This way we’re close enough to help each other and it’ll be harder for someone to surround us.”

“You know, we could probably just walk down the street, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Leon said, “Nedim, take the Fenrir and cover the left. Caycee, Darek, go with them. If you see that woman, don’t hesitate to kill her.”

In their hasty search through the town, Leon and Nedim made sure to keep each other in sight, pausing only briefly to communicate with hand signals.

The main street dead-ended at a large rectangular building with an ominous green glow visible through the windows.

Leon signaled for everyone to stop.

Sara whispered, “What now?”

“Stay here,” Leon said, silently going forward alone. Jumping on the roof, he found an opening and dropped down.

Now inside the building, Leon could hear the portal as well as some movement. After making his way down to the first floor, he carefully peeked around a corner, barely catching a glimpse of Eris.

In one swift move, Leon leaped around the corner and unsheathed his sword, but stopped at the sight of a Corinthian woman and her child between him and his target.

Hesitation.

Eris immediately grabbed the Corinthians and flew through the portal, which instantly closed.

Leon stood, paralyzed at the lost opportunity.

From the shadows, a Corinthian soldier came charging, grabbing Leon and driving him through several walls until they ended up on the street.

Sara and the others quickly moved in to help, but Leon was fast to flip the Corinthian over and stab him through the chest.

“Did you do it?!” Janah asked excitedly.

Leon slowly rose to his feet, “No.”

Just then, the echo of a dozen battle cries came over the wall.

All eyes fell back down the main street.

“What was that?” Kamala asked.

“Not good,” Leon answered, “Everyone, back to the gate!”

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